Saturday, August 29, 2009

Three Generations and Thoughts on Intolerance

How blessed we are to have three generations of Kaibab dogs living with us! I have wanted to take a good three generation picture for a while and I still need to but I did manage to get this one today.

There are two problems with taking the three generation picture. First, Sydney does not know the stay command. This is a problem and reflects what happens to the youngest in any family -- sigh. The second problem is that Maize really does not like "stays" and refuses to put her ears up -- you will note that almost every good picture of her is a candid. However, the chances of a candid three generation picture seemed rather remote and so I worked with what I had - one dog who doesn't know stay and another who pins her ears back like a mule when she hears the word "stay" :)

It has been a number of years since our friend, Tony Mora, died from ALS. He had a lovely girl from Lisa Ebnet who went Best of Opposite at the 2001 National Specialty -- truly I have never seen such a happy man in my life and it still makes me smile to think back to that moment. Tony made log beds and I have two dog log beds that he gave me. I did not have room for them in Utah but they were the first things I wanted in our new house. And in fact, they are the nicest pieces of furniture that I have. I know Tony would love to see the girls enjoying the beds he made for them, and I suspect he does. Here is Mrs. Maize on one of the beds.

Sydney has suddenly grown and no longer looks quite so small and like a puppy. That is Zoey's hair in her mouth -- Sydney does not like to play fetch but she loves to chase down Zoey when she is playing fetch!

Zoey is an energizer bunny. I walked her about two miles this morning and then played fetch with her off/on all morning -- here is a rare moment when she is not in motion.

I have been thinking a lot about intolerance lately, and when -- or if -- it is okay to be intolerant about other people's choices. I have been reflecting on the differences between judging someone and simply disagreeing with his/her position and/or choices. And I have been contemplating how we can be part of a group or organization, and not agree with all the beliefs or values put forth by that group or organization. In fact, I have been trying to decide whether it is even possible to find a group whose positions are identical to our own.

It seems like it should be possible to embrace another person without requiring that s/he believe just as I do. And it seems as if we should be able to disagree with people's choices without being seen as evil for having an honest disagreement of values and beliefs. Finally, I wish it were possible to belong to a group without others assuming the group defines who we are and what we believe.

And yet there are groups who work to take away or prevent the rights of other people -- can we affiliate and not be guilty of oppression? But again, how do we find a group that completely matches our own values and what good would that do?! Don't differences move and shape organizations from within?

No answers -- just hard questions. This is why I train dogs -- because sometimes I just need a break from all those hard questions that spin in my head all the time. Another one that is tormenting me lately is, "who/what takes care of the animals (like the deer) in the winter? Who/what is with them in their suffering?" Yikes. I need to go and buy some deer food!! And train my dogs...

When I am not struggling with the idea of unaccompanied suffering, I am planning my dog show schedule. Next weekend is a visit to Utah to see DH (Dear or Designated Husband ;) and do agility with Cadi. The very next weekend is a two day draft test in Washington; if Asia passes the Novice Draft Dog test she will become my fifth Versatility Dog. Cadi will be trying for two titles that weekend -- she will do the open draft test and also novice brace with her mom, Mrs. Maize.

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Puppy Nanny, Galen, who ran his first half-marathon this morning in Logan, Utah with my daughter, Nicole and her husband, Doug. Nicole has done six marathons so she gets a congratulations but not a big one since 13.1 miles is just warming up for her ;) Great job Galen!!!!!!!!!

And congratulations to you!!! No doubt you have also accomplished something recently that you are proud of :)


  1. now I know where Gracie gets the ears trait - from her Mother. i didn;t know Maize did it and now I know why I have never gotten an "ears up" picture of Gracie :)

    Cindy H.

  2. What a lovely 3 generations photo - they must all be angels because it looks like there is a lovely 'halo' around all of them! :-) Looking forward to seeing you next weekend! Nikki

  3. M-A
    Not sure what "groups" you are referring to...
    if you are talking about dog people groups I have never figured that one out...
    then there are religious groups ... not sure where you are going here

    And forget feeding the deer ... they will figure it out on their own. Nature is nature. If I fed my bears when food was scarce I would live to regret it.

  4. P.S. Forget to say this was a really insightful post.

  5. THE group most of us belong to that teaches us how to remain within (and value) a group without agreeing with all its values -- or the values of other people within it -- is the family.

    As for groups that work to take away the rights of other people -- no, I don't see how we can be part of such a group and not know that we are supporting those activities.

    I agree, dogs are much easier.